Tag Archives: Dinghy

Gear Review: Battery Powered Aqua Signal/West Marine LED Nav Lights

POS Lights

Function:3 Stars (3 / 5)
Reliability:1 Stars (1 / 5)
Quality:2 Stars (2 / 5)
Value:2 Stars (2 / 5)
Average:2 Stars (2 / 5)

These lights are Aqua Signal Portable Nav lights also sold under the West Marine brand in WM stores.  We use them on our dinghy when underway at night, many local jurisdictions will ticket you even if you are going below 7knts at night if you do not have a bow and stern light.  How many RIBs are equipped with good navigation light mounting points or hardware?  Not many unless you have a large high end console boat so there aren’t many ways to comply with the law, so here is a pretty crummy option that we’ve used.

You can purchase these with suction cup mounts seen here, a glue on mount or a bracket mount that clamps to your transom.  We’ve used the bracket mount which was fairly easy to take on and off, but it eventually gave up and broke sending our stern light to Davy Jones Locker.  We use the suction cup mount on the bow of our RIB and it works well enough if you have someone monitoring it every second as it tends to slide off.

How about the actual lights if you find a good way to mount them?  Well when they are working they are fairly bright and don’t seem to use too much battery power.  The problem is they quit functioning fairly shortly.  We’ve gone through three sets of these things in 8 months of cruising.  If they are left to sit out in the rain or get a bit more than damp they will absorb moisture and die.  The LED will not turn off giving a very dim glow and will not turn on to full brightness.

I’m not sure why they can’t make a good waterproof battery operated light when they sell between $40 and $50 each!  Once the ones you see in the picture quit working I think I’ll hook up some 12 volt lights and use the small alternator on our outboard.



Dinghy Ride

We got up and went back to the boat, but no sign of anyone cleaning.  A few folks were there finishing out the outfitting by installing the anchor chain and filling the propane tanks.  We spent the better part of the morning helping them move chain and getting to know the boat systems a bit better.  Did I mention it’s hot here in the summer?  When the afternoon heat subsided we took the dinghy out for a bit of a cruise to get a feel for her.  She planes at about 13mph and tops out about 20; I think we will be able to do a bit of kneeboarding behind it!  The Genesis 340 is a very dry boat taking very little if any water over the bow in a pretty good chop both moving slowly and on plane.  A few things to note is that the plastic hull does flex a bit compared to fiberglass, but it doesn’t seem to be an issue as it’s warranted for 10 years, a good tradeoff for the weight savings.


Long Flight and Another New Boat

Just landed and got our Dinghy!  I had scheduled 84 Boatworks to deliver our new Genesis 340 and Honda 20 at 10am.  A few minutes after arriving at our boat the delivery guy showed up with it on a trailer to be dropped at the nearest boat ramp.  After getting it in the water a quick pull on the start cord and we were off, that 20hp feels a bit of overkill right now, but will probably come in handy when moving supplies and guests.

The lifting bridles that 84 Boatworks made were completely wrong, much too long and pulling on the fabric of the tubes.  I did get the dinghy secured for our trial on Monday, but they’ll need to come back and we work the lifting situation.


Oh and the boat is filthy, inside and out.  I was told by our broker it’d be clean and rigged for the Monday hand over so made a call and was assured it would be by Monday.

With a few more hours left in the day I wanted to checkout Sailorman and Bluewater Books.  Sailorman is something that each boating town needs; tons of used equipment, discounted new stuff and just an awesome place to poke around.  Bluewater Books was fairly interesting, but not much different than any other marine book/chart store.